Bill, Melinda Gates Speak At Malaria Forum, Laud Progress In Fight Against Disease

“Eradicating malaria is not a vague, unrealistic aspiration but a tough, ambitious goal that can be reached within the next few decades,” Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said on Tuesday at the international Malaria Forum in Seattle, Reuters reports. “Gates said a renewed focus and substantial increases in funding for malaria … was steadily ‘shrinking the malaria map’ and would continue to do so,” and he “pointed to Madagascar, Papua New Guinea and Ethiopia as ‘likely early candidates’ for being able to eliminate the disease from within their borders in the near future,” according to the news service (Kelland, 10/19).

“The malaria vaccine now in trials isn’t perfect, people in Africa don’t always replace their bednets when they wear out, and mosquitoes and their parasites are tricky foes, but the … Gates Foundation plans to stay the course,” the Seattle Times writes. “‘You really broke through that inertia,’ Melinda Gates told the crowd” during the second day of the forum, adding, “Your boldness has really stoked our ambition,” the newspaper reports (Ostrom, 10/18). “While the second Malaria Forum illuminated the recent progress the world has made in halting malaria, there was an underlying sense of urgency to be smarter and faster, and to save more lives,” a Gates Foundation press release notes (10/18).

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